The famous Sopa da Pedra – stone soup, is a typical of the town of Almeirim in the Ribatejo, is a classic of Portuguese cuisine.
Legend has it that a starving friar was begging for alms and knocked on the door of a farmer, who refused to help him. The friar replied that he was just trying to make soup from a stone, picking up a stone from the floor and cleaning it. The astounded farmer was hesitant to believe the friar’s stone soup story.
The friar asked for a small pot with water so he could make the soup. Then, he put the stone in the pot and told the farmer’s wife that with a pinch of salt the soup would taste better. The farmer’s wife gave him some salt. The friar then said that a piece of bacon or chouriço sausage would also be good. The farmer’s wife gave him some. He then asked for some cabbage, saying how good it would taste. And so several ingredients were added, resulting in an amazing soup.
In the end, they all ate the soup together and the couple then asked about the stone. The friar answered that he would take the stone with him, for the next soup. This enchanting legend gave rise to one of the most typical soups in Portuguese cuisine.